Kathy: In FATAL FICTION Charli agrees to sell off the family bookstore which is housed in a barn. What a neat place for a bookstore! Have you been in any uniquely placed bookstores?
KR: I used to meet my critique group in a neat little book store in Roanoke, TX called The Book Carriage. They have a loft overlooking the lower section of the store that was a great place to brain storm with the Litgirls. I’ve also met authors at a lighthouse in Maine and art festivals in Hanapepe, HI. Not to mention the tons of great old books I’ve found at antique stores in neat little displays. Last spring I had the pleasure of visiting Shakespeare and Company in Paris—that was a real treat. Italy has some interesting street vender style book stores that were also fun. Someday I’d like to visit The Spotty Dog’s Books and Ale in Hudson, NY and find a cozy little Highland closet bookstore in Scotland. We all have a bucket list!
Kathy: Charli also forms an alliance with the town beauty queen. Have you known anyone on the pageant circuit yourself?
KR: No, I have absolutely no knowledge or experience in that realm—picture Sandra Bullock in her navy blazer, white shirt and gray slacks. I’m comfortable with that version of a beauty queen.
Kathy: Hazel Rock, Texas is a frontier of big hair and bigger gossip. Have you ever lived in such a place?
KR: I live in it now! I really thought it was just hype about Texas, but the first time I went to the beauty shop—wow, that was culture shock! It was a scene from Steel Magnolias.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
KR: The humor and the happy endings. I could write dark all day, but isn’t there enough dark? I like to open the curtains wide and let the sun shine in.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
KR: Romantic suspense and romance—fair warning they’re much spicier.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
KR: The Book Barn Mysteries are about going home and repairing damaged relationships, and about starting new ones that make the experience comfortable, yet new and exciting.
My Malia Fern Mysteries are younger characters. Malia is growing into her skin as a self-sufficient adult while dabbling with dating and adding a touch of paranormal with Hawaiian folklore. (language and adult content)
The Tickled to Death Mysteries are about the trials a young woman faces after becoming a widow before her wedding day. With the help of a dog and an Army vet she just might leave the comfort of her little shop to live life once again. (All the proceeds of Dead Man’s Carve go to wounded vets.)
And my three romantic suspense books are about strong women conquering all their fears for the love they deserve—and of course the alpha males who drive them crazy;)
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
KR: I’m really identifying with Charli right now, I love the southern turn of phrases, although they can be challenging for a Yank to turn with ease. I like Princess the armadillo, but in real life armadillos stink, so Bogart from The Tickled to Death series is high on my list of pets—he kind of has an edge on all the others since he’s a real boxer—my dad’s dog was named Bogie. And I envy Malia, she’s the young woman I wish I had been;)
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
KR: Places I’ve lived or visited. There is something wonderful about experiencing new geographic areas, even if it’s just in your home state, or it’s across the country, or around the globe. There’s always something fascinating to see, history to learn, and people to meet.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
KR: In each of my careers I’ve had a desire to help people. I worked with victims for years, trying to be their voice when theirs wasn’t strong enough to be heard. But then when a tragedy struck my family, an author pulled me out of my darkest moments with her humor. I hope to reach people in the same way—a little escape, a little humor, and a lot of hope for the future.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
KR: That’s pretty easy, you’ll find them on my website, Janet Evanovich, Suzanne Brockmann, Sue Grafton and Karen Marie Moning. I have pictures with three of them on my desk—now I just need to add the fourth and we can sit down and have that dinner!
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
KR: Shhhh, I’m supposed to be living and breathing my third Book Barn Mystery, but between you and I and your readers, Janet Evanovich Turbo Twenty-Three—vroom, vroom!
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
KR: OMG, what hobby do I not have? I like remodeling—my house is in constant need, refinishing antiques, book art, carving, painting, computer graphics and a run reluctantly to stay in shape. When I’m at the coast, I surf—badly.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
KR: Simply Lemonade, watermelon, blue berries and Blue Bell Homemade vanilla ice-cream. Charli might have issues with that in the second and third books of the Book Barn Mystery series! (And don’t let the fruit fool you, I ate all the pumpkin pie)
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
KR: The second Book Barn Mystery, A Reference to Murder comes out May, 2017 and the third Perilous Poetry next fall/winter. Dead Right There, A Malia Fern Mystery releases hopefully in March or April and I’m not sure about When a Stranger Carves, A Tickled to Death Mystery—hopefully before the end of 2017.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
KR: Creating a smile on a reader’s face. If each one of my book raises the corners of one mouth—that’s good enough for me. If they create more, I hope readers will share that gift with someone else.